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‘Listen to us’ care providers plead

Care England warns that making the Covid-19 vaccine a condition of employment could exacerbate the sector’s workforce issues.

The representative body has made its views known about making vaccination a condition of deployment in the health and wider social care sector, highlighting its concerns around the potential timeframe for the imposed policy.

This comes following a public consultation on making Covid-19 vaccination a condition of deployment for those working in adult care homes, the government recently announced Covid-19 vaccination would be required of people entering a CQC registered adult care home, unless exempt, to protect vulnerable residents.

While residents in care homes are some of the most at risk from Covid-19, the responses to this initial consultation made a clear case for extending this policy beyond care homes to other settings where vulnerable people receive care and treatment.

The government, therefore, is now seeking views on whether or not to extend vaccination requirements to other health and care settings for Covid-19 and also for flu.

person holding white ballpoint pen

Responding to the consultation, Care England has appealed for lessons to be learned from the legislative process for the Covid-19 vaccine as a condition of deployment across the registered care home sector.

It also warned that mandating the Covid-19 and/or flu vaccination, in addition to enormous workforce pressures, could only intensify the difficulties currently experienced by providers and may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for many providers.
 
Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said: ‘If vaccination for Covid-19 and/or flu is legislated as a condition of deployment for the wider social care sector, due consideration must be lent to the timeframe for its imposition and it must be accompanied by commensurate resources and funding.

‘Adult social care providers are in the midst of a perfect storm. Providers are currently operating against a backdrop of a multitude of workforce pressures and need government assistance as outlined in our ongoing correspondence with the secretary of state.

‘We are yet to see the government’s Impact Assessment for vaccination as a condition of deployment for the care home sector.  We urge the Government to listen to the sector in order that any unintended consequences, namely the potential disruption to the delivery of health and care services, can be avoided.’

Photo Credit – Mufid Majnun

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